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This year, thanks to COVID we decided to go with the theme, “It’s been a WILD year.” And from there we used hiking, camping and adventure as our inspiration to spoil our teachers (all on a small budget) for Teacher Appreciation Week. I think this can easily be adapted to use every year. I mean, since when are kids NOT wild, right? I’ll share with you today our whole schedule of events along with free printables to help you bang this out! This can be done on a whole school level as a Parent Teacher Organization, or it can be done just on a family level for one individual teacher. Either way it’s sure to bring a smile to their face.
Similar to our Travel Theme Teacher Appreciation Week we did a couple years ago, we had a little something we did for the teachers each day of the week. And by the way to stay up to date for what we’re doing THIS year for Teacher Appreciation, follow along on Instagram!
Monday: Trail Mix Bar
We kicked the week off with a pretty Trail Mix Bar spread in the Teacher’s Lounge. We also hung up the “It’s been a Wild Year, thanks for getting us through it” poster that we left up for the whole week to tie the theme together. I basically reused all my ideas, printables and items from the camping party I threw for my son a few years ago for the Trail Mix Bar. I stuck with buffalo plaid and galvanized buckets and trays.
We included: white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, mini m&ms, peanut m&ms, raisins, almonds, pistachios (huge hit!), cashews (also a big hit), peanuts, peanut butter filled pretzles, pecans, banana chips, granola, scoops for each bucket (you can get them at the dollar store), little cups and napkins.
We weren’t sure how the teachers would react but it was super well received so we ended up leaving it up for Tuesday as well (after refreshing some of the buckets that had been well decimated).
I got most of those little buckets from walmart, and my husband cut the wood rounds for me from some logs on our property. But here are some similar ones from amazon that come with the scoops and stickers labels! And don’t worry! I’ve got all these free printables for you at the end of this post.
The buffalo plaid fabric I just got from Joannes for our camping party and cut them for table runners and reused here.
Tuesday: Teacher Survival Kits
I had seen these teacher survival kits around Pinterest and we wanted to create our own version (for some other cute versions check out Moms without Answers and Mom on Timeout). The biggest obstacle was trying to find containers that were affordable on a mass scale- our goal was to only spend about $100/day (for 50 teachers!). We found these on amazon and they worked out great! If you are just doing one or two you could get a bigger container, maybe like this one.
And here’s a view of how we packed them in there, because that part was kind of tricky too. You could stuff all kinds of fun things in there and even throw in a gift card for a pedicure or a coffee shop. I made the printable to fit inside the containers we got.
Wednesday: Lumberjack Lunch Salad Bar
We wish we could afford to have someone come in and cater lunch for the whole staff, but that was outside our budget. So we decided to go with a salad bar. We prepped all the toppings and put them in these individual containers and then got some pregrilled chicken from Costco so the teachers could take their container with lettuce, pick what toppings they wanted, and be on their way (a lot of the teachers commented on how much they appreciated the extra effort we put in to make things compartmentalized).
To give you an idea we did a container with cucumbers and carrots, one with mushrooms, one with grape tomatoes, and one with croutons/slivered almonds and parmesan cheese crisps. Then there were the pre packaged, pre grilled chicken pouches we got at Costco and dressing.
Aren’t these chicken containers from Costco great? I didn’t even know they existed, but they were the perfect thing!
Thursday: Bear Cookies
On Thursday we passed out sugar cookies in the shape of a bear with a tag attached that said, “this year would have ben unBEARable without you.” Of course you could attach these free printable tags to any bear themed item or food like gummy bears, cinnamon bears, what else? We used this bear cookie cutter, it was the perfect size, nice and big!
Of course I forgot to get a good picture of them until the morning of when I was already at the school so I snapped a quick photo on the only white background I could find, the curb in the parking lot, hah!
Friday: S’mores Kits
How to end a week of camping?! S’mores of course! This is also a fun idea that could easily be scaled up if you are just doing a couple. But since we were doing them for the entire staff we made them small little individual kits.
The fun buffalo plaid treat bags were from Michaels I believe, but I found the same ones on Amazon here. There’s a Hershey’s chocolate bar, 2 graham crackers and 2 marshmallows in each bag. But if you are just doing one or two you could do a whole pack of chocolate bars, a whole bag of marshmallows and a whole box of graham crackers like this (and throw in this All About my Teacher free printable to go along with it!)
I just put the items in one of those disposable tins from the dollar store and and added some confetti. You could also include Reese’s peanut butter cups (have you tried those with smores, mmmmmm) some of those roasting sticks, or any other fun camping related item.
The way these tags work is they are designed to be printed on Avery 2 1/2 inch round sticker labels. I then cut a little under 3 inch diameter circles with my cricut out of green cardstock and stuck the sticker on there to get this look. But I also made a version to be printed on regular paper.
If you’re still looking for more ideas these cute notebooks might make a good addition to the teacher daily gifts. It would be fun if you could coordinate the kids in the class to write little notes to the teacher on each page.
A lot of these printables (and even more camping related ones) are available over on my Camping Party post. You also might find some more inspiration for your camping themed teacher appreciation week over there as well. There’s a google drive link at the bottom of the post that will take you to a folder where you can download all of these free printables. I just ask that you take a second to follow me first! Thank you! Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook
These prints are sized at 8X10 and meant to be put in frames and displayed.
For the tags I made a couple versions. One version is more if you are planning to do this on a mass scale, in which case I recommend printing these on Avery sticker labels and then sticking them on some cardstock backing (I cut circles with my cricut out of green cardstock). And the other version is more intended to just be printed on regular paper or cardstock and cutout.